I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks as I have been moving and settling into my new house. What an experience it has been! I have had a horrible experience with a local storage unit facility and wanted to share my experience with you in hopes that it helps someone else.
The majority of our belongings, minus the bed, dresser, and some clothes were being stored in a local storage facility. We were living with my parents for awhile so we didn’t need all of our belongings. I admit I didn’t go check on our unit like I should have. Had I done that we could have avoided much of this headache!
On the weekend of July 4th we went to the storage unit to begin moving our furniture. It was to my surprise that our lock was missing from the unit. There were two other locks in it’s place. I just had this gut feeling that all of my belongings were gone! Why else would my lock be missing and have been replaced by another lock? In my head I’m picturing the cast of Storage Wars bidding over my storage unit! Wonder how much they would have paid for it?
Due to the holiday weekend we couldn’t get in touch with the owner of the facility until Monday.
When we finally reached the owner, he claimed that we were behind on our payments, therefore they had placed one of their locks on the unit. However, he did not know why our lock had been removed and replaced with a different lock.
When we paid our monthly rent we had to take the money to a local business that was the collection point for these facilities. They simply collected the money and gave it to the owner. When you would pay your rent you could only pay in cash, no checks or debit cards. They kept the money in a separate cash box and issued hand written receipts. Unfortunately I did not have all of our receipts showing that we were paid up. I would always pay 3 months in advance so I KNEW I was not behind on payments. I honestly believe that someone was taking my money, keeping it for themselves and throwing away the receipt.
As a result we had to pay the amount that the owner claimed that we were behind. Once we did so, he removed his lock and cut off the other lock from our unit. That day we loaded up as much as possible and placed a new lock on the building. When we went back a couple of days later our new lock was gone! Someone evidently had cut our lock off to help themselves to what we had left in our unit. All of our bath towels and wash cloths were stolen, some patio furniture, microwave and all of my husband’s fishing gear. I’m sure there were other things that were stolen but we just haven’t realized it yet.
This move had been such a headache. I pray that no one else ever has to go through this like I have so today I’m sharing with you five tips for storage unit users.
5 Tips for Storage Unit Users
1. Check on Your Belongings
If possible make it a point to check on your storage unit at least once a month. If your belongings are stored in one town and you are living in another, recruit a friend or family member to go by and check on your unit.
2. Keep Your Receipts
I know during a move things can get lost. Find a safe place to store your receipts or take a picture of them with your phone and upload it to your cloud storage such as Dropbox.
3. Invest in Storage Insurance
Did you know you can get an insurance policy to cover your belongings while in storage? This article has some great advice for insurance to cover the contents in your storage unit.
4. Use a Heavy Duty Lock
If the storage unit does not provide you with a lock, invest in a strong, heavy duty lock that can not easily be cut off.
5. Use a Secure Storage Unit
If I had to choose a storage unit again I would definitely select a unit that is in a location protected by a fence. Many storage facilities are surrounded by a fence, are only open during certain hours, and some are even protected by onsite live-in managers.